Eyewitness Accounts Conflict
Over Pentagon Crash

By Thierry Meyssan

Comment - Update
From Claudine
Hi Jeff - I started thinking last night about your comment that the man's interview was a piece of the puzzle. So, I found the spot on the tape again and did a transcription. It's a very short interview, and they never gave the man's name. He was wearing a white shirt and tie, so he may have been a local businessman. He was also talking very quickly. He was either very nervous about talking to the reporter or was still running on adrenalin from everything that had happened.
I went through it several times, and I'm pretty sure this is accurate:
"So it looked to be maybe a 20 passenger corporate jet, no markings on the side, coming in at a shallow angle like it was landing right into the side of the Pentagon, then a huge fireball perhaps five times the height of the Pentagon."
Hope this is helpful.
Many eyewitnesses saw some kind of craft hit the Pentagon. Was what they saw a Boeing 757-200 or was it a missile?
Eyewitnesses confirm having seen something fly into the Pentagon. However, their accounts differ largely when it comes to describing the nature of the aircraft in more detail.
"We heard what sounded like a missile"
Several eyewitnesses testify to having seen a large airliner. An anonymous woman interviewed by CNN on September 11 confirms having seen "a commercial plane". Army Captain Lincoln Liebner told the AFP: "I saw this large American Airlines passenger jet coming in fast and low."
Since our article Pentagon: Hunt the Boeing! And test your perceptions! went on-line, many other eyewitnesses have come forward on the internet.
However, other accounts reported in the American press, immediately after the event, speak of a smaller aircraft that, in flight, was very unlike a commercial airliner, and even resembled a winged missile.
The aircraft "appeared to hold about 8 to 12 people" and "sounded like the high-pitched squeal of a fighter", explained Steve Patterson to the Washington Post, on September 11.
"That may have been the plane. I have never seen one on that (flight) pattern."
Tom Seibert, a network engineer at the Pentagon, told the Washington Post: "We heard what sounded like a missile, then we heard a loud boom."
"There wasn't anything in the air, except for one airplane, and it looked like it was loitering over Georgetown, in a high, left-hand bank", explained U.S. Army Brigadier General Clyde Vaughn, director of military support, to CNN. "That may have been the plane. I have never seen one on that (flight) pattern."
"It was like a cruise missile with wings"
Just after the attack, Mike Walter, journalist at USA Today, explained to the Washington Post and CNN that "it was like a cruise missile with wings".
Danielle O'Brien, air controller at Washington's Dulles airport, from where American Airways flight 77 took off, explained that the craft that hit the Pentagon had the speed and maneuverability of a "military plane". Her account was published on the ABCnews site and used on the National Air Traffic Controllers Association site. We reproduce an extract of it here:
"I noticed the aircraft. It was an unidentified plane to the southwest of Dulles, moving at a very high rate of speed - I had literally a blip and nothing more."
O'Brien asked the controller sitting next to her, Tom Howell, if he saw it too.
"I said, 'Oh my God, it looks like he's headed to the White House'," recalls Howell. "I was yelling 'We've got a target headed right for the White House!' At a speed of about 500 miles an hour, the plane was headed straight for what is known as P-56, protected air space 56, which covers the White House and the Capitol."
"The speed, the maneuverability, the way that he turned, we all thought in the radar room, all of us experienced air traffic controllers, that that was a military plane," says O'Brien. "You don't fly a 757 in that manner. It's unsafe."
"The speed, the maneuverability, the way that he turned, we all thought in the radar room, all of us experienced air traffic controllers, that that was a military plane."
"The plane was between 12 and 14 miles away" says O'Brien, "and it was just a countdown. Ten miles west. Nine miles west... Our supervisor picked up our line to the White House and started relaying to them the information, [that] we have an unidentified very fast-moving aircraft inbound toward your vicinity, 8 miles west."
Vice President Cheney was rushed to a special basement bunker. White House staff members were told to run away from the building
"And it went 'six, five, four', And I had it in my mouth to say, three, and all of a sudden the plane turned away. In the room, it was almost a sense of relief. This must be a fighter. This must be one of our guys sent in, scrambled to patrol our capital, and to protect our president, and we sat back in our chairs and breathed for just a second," says O'Brien.
But the plane continued to turn right until it had made a 360-degree maneuver.
"We lost radar contact with that aircraft. And we waited. And we waited. And your heart is just beating out of your chest waiting to hear what's happened," says O'Brien. "And then the Washington National [Airport] controllers came over our speakers in our room and said, 'Dulles, hold all of our inbound traffic. The Pentagon's been hit.'"
On September 11, the State Department for Defense confirmed that a Boeing 757 had crashed on the Pentagon. Eyewitnesses indeed talk of a flying craft. But there is no absolute consensus that this craft was an airliner. Maybe the official version of events subsequently influenced eyewitness accounts. Two French newspapers, Le Monde and LibÈration, have both published counter-arguments to our own. Both cite Steve Patterson and Mike Walter to prove how wrong we were to doubt the Boeing 757 hypothesis.
Such accounts, those first reported in the American press, should, however, open up new lines of enquiry. The first said that the aircraft 'appeared to hold about 8 to 12 people' and 'sounded like the high-pitched squeal of a fighter.' The second said that it 'was like a cruise missile with wings'...
This begs the question: What evidence is available to determine the nature of the craft? Please read the article that follows:
The evidence: One hole, 2 1/2 yards in diameter
1 -
Eyewitness accounts: Boeing 757 or military craft ?
2 -
The evidence: One hole, 2 1/2 yards in diameter
3 -
Possible theories: Aircraft nose or warhead ?
PS -
Coquille : En jargon journalistique, faute typographique (no translation yet)
(Use link for images)
One hole, 2 12 yards in diameter
Whatever hit the Pentagon on September 11, 2001 made a hole several meters wide in the front wall between the first and second floors. It emerged three blocks later, leaving behind a perfectly round hole of about 2 12 yards in diameter.
The device or craft entered the wall of the Pentagon just behind the heliport. Half an hour after the attack, this front wall collapsed. The photograph below was taken in the minutes following the attack, when help first arrived. The wall at this stage has not yet collapsed. In the accompanying image, the point of impact has been enlarged. It spans from the first floor of the building to the second floor, 7 12 to 8 12 yards high. It is as wide as the two windows above (5 12 to 6 12 yards). It would appear that the wall between the building's two supporting pillars has been removed.
The exit hole
The two photographs below show the hole through which the device or craft exited the building. The photograph's caption is clear on this point: "The exit hole where American Airlines Flight 77 finally stopped after penetrating the Pentagon". The second photograph shows the same hole after debris was removed. The words "Punch out" have been added. The hole is quite circular and is about 2 12 yards in diameter.  
The position of the hole
The two photographs to the left and their enlargements on the right show the location of this hole on the inside wall of the third ring. The condition of the windows and the inscriptions on the right can be compared to the photographs above. High definition enlargements of these images may be downloaded by clicking on the links.
What kind of aircraft caused these damage ? Please read the article that follows: : Possible theories: Aircraft nose or warhead ?
From Richard N.Soles
Greetings Jeff,
One of the recent articles dated 5/21/02 discussed the photos of the Pentagon from the out side and inside with a 2-1/2 meter hole "punched out" written on inside wall.
I guess those who were there couldn't figure out it was a Military "Predator" guided plane that hit the Pentagon.
By all readings of what it sounded like, it would be interesting to have those who witnessed the event to listen to what a "Predator" sounds like.
It's also amazing no parts were found within the crash site or outside either.
From Claudine
You know, that story you've put up today is right. When I was listening to some of your archives (20 Feb 2002) a couple of months ago, your guest mentioned that they knew of someone who said they'd seen actual footage of a plane hit the Pentagon on TV.
I thought I had, too, so I took out my tapes (I put in a video tape at about 9:00 AM when I first found out something was going on and kept the VCR taping all day on NBC) and started looking for it. The news people didn't really start talking about what happened to the Pentagon until later in the afternoon. Before that they just showed shots of the building and said they'd been hit, too.
My tape had a computer recreation of the plane hitting the Pentagon, and that must be what I remember seeing, but while looking for that I found an "on the street" type interview with a man that said he had seen the plane hit the Pentagon, and he described it as a smaller commuter plane.
But this raises another question. If it was a missile, or a smaller plane that hit the Pentagon, then what happened to the larger plane they said hit it? It was an actual flight with people aboard and everything. That plane just couldn't have vanished into thin air.


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